Domestic Policy Council (21 - 30 of 396 items)
Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy: SSA Continues to Approve Applicants, but Millions of Individuals Have Not Yet Applied
GAO-08-812T: Published: May 22, 2008. Publicly Released: May 22, 2008.
To help the elderly and disabled with prescription drug costs, the Congress passed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA), which created a voluntary outpatient prescription drug benefit (Medicare Part D). A key element of the prescription drug benefit is the low-income subsidy, or "extra help," available to Medicare beneficiaries with limited income and res...
Nursing Homes: Federal Monitoring Surveys Demonstrate Continued Understatement of Serious Care Problems and CMS Oversight Weaknesses
GAO-08-517: Published: May 9, 2008. Publicly Released: May 15, 2008.
GAO reports since 1998 have demonstrated that state surveyors, who evaluate the quality of nursing home care on behalf of CMS, sometimes understate the extent of serious care problems in homes because they miss deficiencies. CMS oversees the effectiveness of state surveys through the federal monitoring survey program. In this program, federal surveyors in CMS's regional offices either independentl...
Elderly Voters: Some Improvements in Voting Accessibility from 2000 to 2004 Elections, but Gaps in Policy and Implementation Remain
GAO-08-442T: Published: Jan 31, 2008. Publicly Released: Jan 31, 2008.
Voting is fundamental to our democratic system, and federal law generally requires polling places for federal elections to be accessible to older voters and voters with physical disabilities. Following reports of problems encountered in the close 2000 presidential election with respect to voter registration lists, absentee ballots, ballot counting, and antiquated voting systems, the Help America V...
Private Pensions: 401(k) Plan Participants and Sponsors Need Better Information on Fees
GAO-08-95T: Published: Oct 24, 2007. Publicly Released: Oct 24, 2007.
According to Labor's most recent data, there are an estimated 44 million active participants in 401(k) plans. As participants accrue earnings on their investments, they also pay a number of fees, associated with 401(k) plans. Over the course of the employee's career, fees may significantly decrease retirement account balances. For plan sponsors, understanding the fees they are being charged helps...
Retirement Decisions: Federal Policies Offer Mixed Signals about When to Retire
GAO-07-753: Published: Jul 11, 2007. Publicly Released: Jul 11, 2007.
While many factors influence workers' decisions to retire, Social Security, Medicare, and pension laws also play a role, offering incentives to retire earlier and later. Identifying these incentives and how workers respond can help policy makers address the demographic challenges facing the nation. GAO assessed (1) the incentives federal policies provide about when to retire, (2) recent retirement...
Social Security Reform: Greater Transparency Needed about Potential General Revenue Financing
GAO-07-213: Published: Mar 22, 2007. Publicly Released: Mar 22, 2007.
Absent reform, Social Security's financing gap will grow until currently scheduled benefits can no longer be paid in full. Recent reform proposals often include general revenue (GR)--a major change that can have significant implications for the budget as a whole. This report addresses these issues: (1) What information is available about GR in recent proposal scorings by Social Security's Office o...
Older Workers: Some Best Practices and Strategies for Engaging and Retaining Older Workers
GAO-07-433T: Published: Feb 28, 2007. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 2007.
More Americans remaining in the workforce at older ages could lead to benefits at several levels. First, working longer will allow older workers to bolster their retirement savings. Second, hiring and retaining older workers will help employers deal with projected labor shortages. Third, older workers will contribute to economic growth and increase federal revenues, helping to defray some of the a...
Guardianships: Little Progress in Ensuring Protection for Incapacitated Elderly People
GAO-06-1086T: Published: Sep 7, 2006. Publicly Released: Sep 7, 2006.
The Senate Special Committee on Aging asked GAO to follow up on its 2004 report, Guardianships: Collaboration Needed to Protect Incapacitated Elderly People, GAO-04-655. This report covered what state courts do to ensure that guardians fulfill their responsibilities, what exemplary guardianship programs look like, and how state courts and federal agencies work together to protect incapacitated eld...
Nutrigenetic Testing: Tests Purchased from Four Web Sites Mislead Consumers
GAO-06-977T: Published: Jul 27, 2006. Publicly Released: Jul 27, 2006.
Scientists increasingly believe that most, if not all, diseases have a genetic component. Consequently, genetic testing is becoming an integral part of health care with great potential for future test development and use. Some genetic tests are sold directly to the consumer via the Internet or retail stores, and purport to use genetic information to deliver personalized nutrition and lifestyle gui...
Disaster Preparedness: Preliminary Observations on the Evacuation of Vulnerable Populations due to Hurricanes and Other Diasasters
GAO-06-790T: Published: May 18, 2006. Publicly Released: May 18, 2006.
Hurricane Katrina struck near the Louisiana-Mississippi border and became one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history, affecting a large geographic area and necessitating the evacuation of people from parts of the area, including vulnerable populations, such as hospital patients, nursing home residents and transportation-disadvantaged populations who were not in such facilities. The disaste...